Crisis in “Samopomich”: why the “party-franchise” decays?

The “Samopomich” party was perceived the institutional and electoral core for a long time. Smaller players such as “Civic Position”, “Democratic Alliance”, “Movement of New Forces”, “People’s Power”, “Wave” and others could unite around the party.

 

In the early parliamentary elections in 2014, “Samopomich” of Andrii Sadovyi received almost 11% of the vote, and in regional elections in 2015 it was able to form parliamentary factions in 18 regional councils and city councils. The liberal segment of the voters – representatives of the middle class, small and medium-sized businesses, intellectuals and students – actively voted for the project of Sadovyi. After passing to the parliament, the party received large amounts of state funding, including benefits for compliance with the legislation on 30% of the gender quota in the party list.

 

However, starting from 2015, the “Samopomich” party began to systematically degrade, appear in reputation scandals, lose ratings; its local factions started collapsing in the regions. At present, all sociological surveys demonstrate that the “Samopomich” party may not overcome the 5% electoral threshold, although in 2015-2017 its ratings ranged from 8% to 15%, according various polls.

 

Reasons for the falling ratings of “Samopomich”:

 

  • Failure of Mayor Andrii Sadovyi to solve the garbage problem in Lviv, which brought severe reputational and political problems to the party.
  • Split of the parliamentary faction “Samopomich” (during 2015-2018 nine deputies from big business came out of the faction, including the leader of the list Anna Hopko).
  • Unwillingness of Andrii Sadovyi to take on political responsibility, in particular delegate his people to the power structures and lead the new Government in April 2016.
  • In 2016, “Samopomich” party politically agreed with the Vilkul clan and “drained” the elections in Krivyi Rih by putting forward a candidly weak candidate Semen Semenchenko.
  • Party building of “Samopomich” is based on the principle of political franchise in the regions (the central management of the party passed regional departments of party for the use of local businesspersons).
  • Sharp contradictions in the parliamentary faction “Samopomich” between a so-called deputy group of businesspersons lobbying interests of business in parliament, and the Lviv political group oriented on Andrii Sadovyi.
  • Permanent conflicts and splits in the “Samopomich” factions in Kyiv, Chernivtsi, Mykolaiv, Khmelnitskyi and other local councils.
  • Lack of Sadovyi’s interest in creation of a broad coalition of liberal forces and nomination of a united candidate for the presidential election.

 

Political perspectives of “Samopomich”, in the first place, depend on Andrii Sadovyi’s position on the negotiation process with Anatolii Hrytsenko, who confidently turns into a senior coalition partner.

If “Samopomich” does not unite with “Civic Position” into a single democratic platform, then Sadovyi risks to remain a Lviv regional politician forever and his project is likely to lose parliamentary prospects in 2019.